From April 7th to April 8th, President Donald Trump hosted the Chinese President Xi-Trump summit in Florida, followed by a friendly phone call to discuss the tension between North and South Korea on April 12th. Although Trump expected the meeting to be “very difficult,” the two leaders found common ground on North Korea and its nuclear weapons. China, known to have a close relationship with North Korea, stated this time that China condemns the use of nuclear weapons and is willing to cut off oil supplies to leader Kim Jong-un if nuclear weapons are tested. Similarly, to show dominance over the North Korean dictator, Trump has sent warships along with the Japanese Navy to the Korean peninsula. Trump has also promised to take solitary action on North Korea if nuclear weapons were tested. The American president tweeted: “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!” asserting his opposition to North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons.
North Korea denounced the warships that were sent to South Korea, claiming they are a threat to their sovereignty and therefore justifying their use of nuclear war weapons. North Korea has even threatened a nuclear attack on America if America furthers its aggression. While the U.S. has reciprocated North Korea’s aggression, China insists on a peaceful solution. Despite raised speculation of North Korea testing their nuclear weapons on April 15th to celebrate former leader Kim Il Sung’s day of birth, nuclear weapons were not tested. However, North Korea held a massive parade of its newly developed ballistic missiles, showing its defiance towards what they call to be an “intolerable act of aggression.”
Without a doubt, the diplomacy between China, US, North Korea and South Korea is complicated. America is a long-time ally to South Korea, and China is a consistent supporter of North Korea. Despite Trump’s aggressive comments towards China before his presidency, both Trump and Xi have reported that their meetings were productive, showing a constructive direction in the countries’ relationship. Additionally, through the positive Trump-Xi interaction, it has been evident that China’s initial passiveness to North Korea has been increasingly aggressive to North Korea’s denuclearisation issue.